Film community to attempt prevention of texting during films
It seems like such a quaint notion: Folks would go to the movie theater, buy their tickets at the box office, then sit down, shut up and pay attention for two hours to what was on the screen.
Now, the piercing glow of cell phones lights up the darkness like several pesky fireflies, and people talk to each other in a packed auditorium as if they were sitting in the privacy of their own living rooms.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, did something about this trend by kicking out a patron who refused to adhere to the theater’s rule against talking or texting. She later left a ranting, profane voice message, which the theater turned into a hilarious public service announcement. It’s received over 1.75 million hits on YouTube in just a couple of weeks.
But what happened to our attention spans? Why must we talk, text and tweet in the middle of a movie? And what – if anything – can theaters do to stop this erosion of cinema civility?
Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief of the film review website Rotten Tomatoes, crafted “Ten Commandments for Movie Audiences” including “Thou shalt not text.” But the ubiquity of cell phones makes these sensible suggestions hard to enforce.